Claudia Conway shouldn’t have to be the liberal revolutionary we want her to be
( Screengrab from @claudiamconway / TikTok)
Claudia Conway’s hooked us from the moment we realized her last name didn’t quite align with her politics. One look at all of the politically liberal and vocal content that she regularly posts on TikTok makes that clear. But in the process of ranting about politics, her family and everything in between, this 15-year old influencer has been lauded as a whistleblower.
And that’s a problem.
When the media sees dysfunction, they perpetuate the wildfire instead of doing anything that can help extinguish it. (I mean look at how the Kardashians did by just being their dynamic selves.) You might know Kellyanne Conway as former counselor under the Trump administration. She left the White House this past August after the ongoing public dispute with her daughter. George Conway, on the other hand, is one of the co-founders of The Lincoln Project, a conservative committee that was formed to prevent the reelection of President Donald Trump.
With the major incongruences in political views, I have to confess that I too was interested in the Conway family. But the language the media has used to describe and represent Claudia Conway isn’t as progressive as one might think; in fact, it seems profusely toxic.
I began thinking about this when Conway was trending on Twitter for posting on Tik Tok that she and her mother had contracted COVID-19, a major news story that it seems media outlets were waiting for amidst the news that Trump had contracted COVID. She also took it a step further by adding in her comments a narrative that insinuated that Trump’s health was deteriorating more than the White House was leading us to believe. Users took to social media to label Conway as a “whistleblower”, many putting her on a pedestal for being so outspoken about the wrongdoings of her parents and their differing believes.
I have to admit, I did the same, admiring her for using her platform and the power she had to stand on the right side of history when her parents were doing the opposite. But upon further research into her life, I found that the relationship she has with her parents seems turbulent, and the media’s glamorization of her family drama wasn’t making it any better. This is a young girl who is enduring gaslighting and abuse on a public level and the media is feasting on the spectacle of it all.
Her Tik Tok is evidence of this. She regularly posts about wanting to be emancipated and the hazardous nature of her household and family dynamic. In one of her last appearances on social media, Conway went live on Tik Tok, during which she sent multiple signs that she needs help (she took her earring out after someone in the chat told her to if she was in danger).
This girl isn’t the liberal revolutionary hero that people seem to be desperately looking for and neither should she have to be. She is just a Tik Tok influencer who wants to make whatever content she wants, just like her peers, without any judgment or conclusion when it comes to her image or personal life.
We shouldn’t be focused on Conway’s ability to persist within her problematic household. We need to criticize and focus on the problematic household itself, which consists of Kellyanne and George Conway, both of whom quit their jobs in order to be at home. Well, Kellyanne Conway continues to go to White House events, bringing nothing but COVID to her children.
Claudia Conway isn’t our savior or hero, and nor should she have to be. She’s one of the many experiencing the brunt of the values and behaviors that the Trump administration exhibits and what got our country to its current condition. It’s sad that the recovery of our sanity rests on her when in fact, she is the one who may need saving. I’m not sure what people are expecting from Claudia Conway, but one thing is for sure — people are expecting too much from her, a difficult role that she shouldn’t have to perform given not only her current situation but the fact that she is just a young and passionate girl who wants to express the meaning of her own existence without any responsibilities, just like the rest of us.
Anushka Dakshit is a Staff Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She likes to read, watch really long films, listen to old Bollywood, and listen to sad music when it rains. She wants to use her writing to discuss the nuances of womxnhood and culture and is passionate about social justice, femininity, and words that bring her catharsis. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org